With a brace from Lieke Martens, the team led by Lluís Cortés beat Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 at the Johan Cruyff Stadium and will play the UWCL final for the second time in three years.
This article is originally written by our editor Thomas Marchetti and is adapted by Mehul Mittal.
The first leg of the semifinal was played seven days ago which ended in a 1-1 draw, leaving Barça with a good chance of advancing after scoring away from home. But it was today’s game that defined who would get the ticket to the final.
The game started with Barcelona’s dominance in terms of possession, with clean starts from the first defensive line. The scoring opened at the 7th minute of the first half with a finish to the right corner by Lieke Martens after a long pass from Ouahabi. The Blaugranas imposed their style and, except for some individual quality of Bachmann, dominated the French team with comfort. The second goal came a few minutes later (31′), with a personal move by Graham Hansen who, despite the close marking of the rival defense, took down a long pass beautifully and managed to put in a cross, which Martens had to just tap in. The Catalan team managed the game beautifully and PSG did not have an answer to their superiority until, an error of judgement by the Barça defense following a PSG corner allowed the French team to pull one back.
In the second half of the match, PSG began to gain prominence, arriving with more intensity and danger compared to the first half. Barça, on their part, maintained their initiation and transition style in the different lines of play. Sandra Paños, FC Barcelona goalkeeper, enlarged her figure with each intervention. Forward Jennifer Hermoso slammed a shot off the post off a corner kick. Oshoala, who replaced Aitana at the striker’s position, had the chance to put a final nail in the coffin when she went one on one against Endler in the final minutes, but the PSG goalkeeper covered with her feet and prevented the Catalan team from scoring a third, this being the last dangerous play of the match.
After the final whistle, the players were overflowing with excitement at the achievement. In addition to reaching the final, it is the first time that Barcelona have defeated Paris Saint-Germain in their history.
Here’s what the star of the match, Lieke Martens, had to say after the match:
About the match:
“The second half was not easy. If they had scored a goal, we wouldn’t have made it to the final. It was a difficult game and a very tough opponent.”
On her important goals in the season:
“They are very special. Today is an important day for the team, the most important thing is to win.”
On qualifying for the final:
“We are in the final, that’s the most important thing. We are very happy to reach the final. Now there is only one game left. We have two weeks to prepare.”
1- Paños, 4- María León, 7- J. Hermoso, 8- Marta, 11- Alexia, 12- Patri, 14- Aitana, 15- Leila, 16- Graham, 17- A. Pereira and 22- Martens.
16- Endler; 12- Lawrence, 14- Paredes, 4- Dudek, 20- Morroni, 24- Formiga, 8- Geyoro, 13- Dabritz, 7- Bachmann, 9- Katoto and 21- Baltimore.
Goals: Lieke Martens (7′ and 31′); Katoto (34′)
Stadium: Johan Cruyff
Referee: Anastasia Pustovoitova